Emergency Room Could be Hazardous to Your Black Health

Emergency Room Could be Hazardous to Your Black Health


Recent studies on racial disparities in trauma centers give African Americans much pause before they rush off to the hospital.

One study found that African Americans are more likely than Whites to die from a gunshot or other assault-related injury after arriving at a trauma center.

In a recent report published in the Journal of Trauma, Injury, Infection and Critical Care, data from 137,618 black and white assault victims over the age of 15 treated at 100 trauma centers between 2005 and 2008 found that the overall death rate for Blacks was higher than Whites, 8.9 percent compared to 5.1 percent.

One of the author’s of the study, Anthony R. Harris, emeritus professor of sociology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, said while the findings were consistent with previous studies, he could not pinpoint the reason for the racial disparity.

Perhaps it has to do with the fact that Blacks, who account for 76 percent of all trauma center deaths, are also uninsured. But no one may be ready to charge racism just yet or that lack of insurance may have played into what may have been inferior treatment.

And in another study presented before an American Academy of Pediatrics conference on October 14, researchers discovered that low risk White children were more likely to be ordered a Cat scan after suffering a minor head industry. That survey of 40,000 children with head injuries at 25 pediatric emergency care trauma centers discovered that about 35 percent of those patients underwent a cranial CT scan.

“However, in this case, trauma centers are exposing White children to unnecessary and costly radiation scans in their attempt at cautiousness.” Dr. Alexander Rogers said in an academy news release.

In that case, too, it appears hospital workers were overzealous and overcautious when a White child came into their care, leading them to order screenings that may not have been needed.


  1. I think it might be worth doing further research into how many of these ER patients also had criminal records. Someone who is wanted is NOT going to go to the ER right away for fear of being incarcerated after they get treated. Blacks are 8 times more likely to be involved in criminal activities than other races.

    The part about white children makes sense because of the paragraph above, whites are more likely to have insurance, which the hospital can charge "extra" services to. That is a FACT.

    Your logic is FAIL.